This morning in the Survival discord channel, I saw some interesting comments that I wanted to talk about a bit. Essentially the problem is: ever since Blizzard decided to give us longer GCDs that are affected by haste, stacking as much haste as possible is the only way to make the spec feel as fast and fun as it used to be; however, while it is the most fun stat for many specs, it isn't always the most beneficial stat for our DPS.
Survival's Stat Problems
For Survival Hunters, this problem is amplified by a couple things. First, our mastery's stat conversion is incredibly low compared to every other stat, including even Versatility. Second, our 4 piece set bonus is powerful enough that it makes having a minimum amount of mastery (enough that you can expect to nearly always get 6 stacks of Mongoose Fury for during each application).
Haste has a conversion rate of 1% increased attack speed, decreased cast times, etc., per 375 stats, SV's mastery, on the other hand, has a conversion rate of 1% increased chance to proc a Mongoose Bite charge per 800 stats.
Because it takes more than twice as much stats to get 1% mastery as it does haste, to reach that base level of needed mastery, you have to give up a lot of haste (or crit or versatility). Let's say we have a mythic ilvl ring. The more abundant secondary stat on that ring might have around 2200 of that stat, if that's 2200 haste, we get nearly 6% haste. If it's 2200 crit, we get 5.5% increased crit. If it's 2200 mastery, we get a disappointing 2.75% mastery.
The Fun of a Stat
It's really hard to quantify how "fun" a stat is. With something like Versatility, there's no direct fun in the stat, but some indirect fun if you're able to stay alive ever so slightly easier and do slightly more damage. Crit gets closer to what most people find fun, in that we all like seeing relatively huge numbers every once in a while, despite knowing that on average, it might not be much more damage than we get from a flat damage % increase, for some reason it feels better to get those occasional huge crits.
Haste, I'd argue, has the most obviously direct effect on how much fun I'm having. While I wouldn't try to speak for all wow players, as I'm completely sure there are people with very different preferences than I have, it does seem clear that most people who have chosen to play hunters since the change to Focus, and possibly even in the mana days, did so because they enjoyed the faster paced play-style, and always having something to do. I have no problem with other players if they happen to enjoy downtime, or slower cast times, more time to really plan out the next move perfectly. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, it just isn't what I like, and I imagine it's not what most people who've choose to play hunter over the last few expansions would like.
Haste vs Mastery as SV
So having high haste just feels good. If I were to stack haste, I can get up around 40%, which brings me almost back to that 1 second GCD we had during the previous expansions, and just makes me feel like I'm doing something, rather than waiting for something.
SV's mastery does feel good to some extent. Having Hunting Companion procs gives you more to do, and you have to choose between starting your next Mongoose Fury chain or getting your traps or DoTs up. However, it doesn't scale linearly at all. With very low mastery, you essentially don't feel it at all. When you get between 11-13% mastery, you're at a fairly sweet spot. About 12% mastery seems to normally get you to a full 6 stacks of Mongoose Fury, with some moments of bad luck, and some moments of good luck where you can spam Mongoose Bite for quite a while. After that point, it seems fairly useless once again, though.
To reach that sweet spot, again (because the conversion rate is so ridiculous) you have to use up a lot of your items' stat budgets. Which means less for the stat that really makes the spec fun.
This is really the whole point I wanted to make with all of that rambling: it just seems odd to have to choose between getting a stat that is fun, and a stat that you need for DPS. This is even more true, when you have to choose between a lot of a fun stat, or a tiny little bit of a stat you need for DPS.